UK legislation states that the employer or owner is responsible for all lifting equipment on site and is legally obliged to maintain the equipment in a safe working condition for the use of their employees. All access platforms are therefore subject to a regular thorough examination most commonly called LOLER inspection every six months to identify whether or not the equipment is safe for use, and to report on any defects found that need to be corrected. For material lifting equipment, it is a minimum of every twelve months. The Regulations A thorough examination in accordance with the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations LOLER 98 should be carried out every six months by a competent person, and often more frequently if used in a hostile environment.

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Your health and safety responsibilities have not changed in the transition period. Find the latest information on our Brexit pages These Regulations often abbreviated to LOLER place duties on people and companies who own, operate or have control over lifting equipment. This includes all businesses and organisations whose employees use lifting equipment, whether owned by them or not.

All lifting operations involving lifting equipment must be properly planned by a competent person, appropriately supervised and carried out in a safe manner. Records must be kept of all thorough examinations and any defects found must be reported to both the person responsible for the equipment and the relevant enforcing authority.

What you should do If your business or organisation undertakes lifting operations or is involved in providing lifting equipment for others to use, you must manage and control the risks to avoid any injury or damage.

Where you undertake lifting operations involving lifting equipment you must: plan them properly using people who are sufficiently competent supervise them appropriately to ensure that they are carried out in a safe manner What you should know LOLER is supported by the Safe use of lifting equipment: Approved Code of Practice ACOP and additional free guidance from HSE.

Other more specific legislation may also apply, for example the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations , when safety harnesses are being used for rope access work during activities such as window cleaning. Many other organisations also publish guidance material on LOLER and its application in practice, which businesses may find helpful - much of which can be found using standard web searches. Although LOLER has a wide application, any lifting equipment used on ships is generally excluded because there are other provisions for the safety of this equipment under merchant shipping legislation.

Most lifting equipment and lifting accessories will also fall within the scope of the Machinery Directive , as implemented by the UK Supply of Machinery Safety Regulations.

Such equipment must have been subject to conformity assessment and be appropriately CE marked and accompanied by a Declaration of Conformity DoC before being placed on the market or brought into use.

This includes lifting equipment whose only source of power is directly applied human effort eg manually operated chain blocks and car jacks. The DoC , which must accompany the new product, is an important document, which should be retained by the user.

The DoC may avoid the need for an initial thorough examination before first use in those cases where the safety of that equipment does not depend on the conditions of its installation or assembly. What is a lifting operation? What is lifting equipment? This includes lifting accessories and attachments used for anchoring, fixing or supporting the equipment examples of lifting equipment Selecting the right equipment LOLER requires that lifting equipment must be of adequate strength and stability.

Lifting equipment should be positioned or installed in such a way as to reduce the risk, as far as reasonably practicable, of the equipment or load striking a person, or of the load drifting, falling freely or being unintentionally released. Where the SWL of any equipment or accessory depends on its configuration, the information provided on the SWL must reflect all potential configurations for example, where the hook of an engine hoist can be moved to different positions, the SWL should be shown for each position.

Accessories must also be marked to show any characteristics that might affect their safe use. This may include the weight of the parts, where their weight is significant. Where equipment is to be used to lift people , it should be marked to indicate the number of people that can be lifted in addition to the SWL of the equipment. Lifting equipment which is not designed for lifting people - but which might be used this way in error - must be clearly marked to indicate it should not be used to lift people.

Planning, organising and carrying out lifting operations All lifting operations involving lifting equipment must be: properly planned by a competent person appropriately supervised, and carried out in a safe manner In planning any lifting operation, the identification and assessment of risk is key to identifying the most appropriate equipment and method for the job.

Further information on planning and organising lifting operations. However, when used at work, the provisions of PUWER still apply including selection, inspection, maintenance, and training. Examples of work equipment which does not come under LOLER but still comes under the provisions of PUWER include escalators and moving walkways , many conveyor systems and simple pallet trucks that only raise the load just clear of the ground so it can be moved.

Some lifting equipment may not be used by people at work, such as stair lifts installed in private dwellings and platform lifts in shops for disabled customer access - which are not subject to LOLER or PUWER in these circumstances. Other equipment, such as lifts in shopping centres, may be installed primarily for the use of customers who are not at work. Nevertheless, upon installation, this equipment must meet the requirements of all relevant European Product Supply Directives and so be safe by design and construction when placed on the market.

For example, stair lifts and platform lifts mainly used for people with impaired mobility come under the Machinery Directive and those over 3 m vertical distance require third party conformity assessment by a notified body. Conventional passenger lifts must meet the requirements of the Lifts Directive.

This may include employees of other organisations who undertake maintenance and other work on equipment - who will usually be at work and may even need to test and use the lifting equipment during their work. Therefore, businesses allowing the public to use lifting equipment, such as passenger lifts primarily intended for use by people not at work, should still be managing the risks from this equipment - and will generally need to be to the same stringent standards as required by LOLER and PUWER.

In any case, insurers may require a similarly high standard of protection to manage public liability in these situations. Further reading.


Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER)

All equipment must be safe and suitable for purpose. The manufacturer must identify any hazards associated with the equipment in question, they must then assess these hazards to bring them down to acceptable levels. All lifting equipment is normally put through an independent type testing process to establish that it will safely perform the tasks required to one of the below standards. They are designed to be used consistently as a rule, guideline or definition. All personnel must be suitably trained.


Safe use of lifting equipment


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